24 Jan 2012

Kinnow Orange Cinnamon Cake

What is it about Sunday afternoons that makes them so magical? Is it that on cold winter days you can lie on the couch with a comforter and take a nap? Or it is that perfect time of the day after you have had a heavy Sunday brunch and its not yet evening so you don’t have to think about work on Monday? Oh, you have felt it too? I knew I was in good company. 

If you like Sunday afternoons as much as I do, you will find that you love this cake. And that it will not be too much effort for you to make this on a Saturday so you can eat it on Sunday. I must confess that I made this cake only to use up some ingredients I had in the refrigerator. I’m so glad I was not too lazy and did make it. This cake will provide oomph to your Sunday. Have it at tea time with a cup of cocoa and I promise that your Monday morning blues will just vanish into thin air.

So what do you do when you try to bake a cake using only the ingredients that are there at home without a trip to the market? This was quite a new experience for me. I changed around the recipe so much that I was quite expecting that the cake wouldn’t rise at all. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it rose, looked very pretty and gave off a very fresh fragrance. I say fragrance because I could use the smell as a perfume. I really could. The sweet cinnamon offsets the citrus of the orange and this results in a clean bright scent.
Don’t wait. Make it today with the largest juiciest oranges as packed with flavor as you can find.

Kinnow Orange Cinnamon Cake
Adapted loosely from Bon Appetempt
Serves 8 – 10

Oranges and glaze
3 really large kinnow oranges
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup sugar
1/4th teaspoon salt

115 gms/ 8 tablespoons butter
¾ th cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp orange / vanilla essence

Preheat the oven to 375 F or 190 C. Grease and dust a 9 inch light colored aluminum round pan.
Grate the zest of an orange and reserve it for the cake. Juice it – you should have ½ cup of orange juice. Slice the remaining 2 oranges (along with the rinds) into ¼ inch round segments.
Combine the orange juice, orange slices, lime juice, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a slow simmer over low heat. Cook for 6 – 8 mins. The centers of the oranges will become translucent and tender. Carefully scoop out the orange rounds and place them on a plate. They should not break. Keep aside.
Keep cooking and stirring the syrup for around 12 – 15 mins until it thickens a bit. Remove from flame and set aside. This is the glaze.

For the cake, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add and beat the eggs one by one. Add the reserved orange zest. Stir in the essence. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture little by little, to the batter and mix until incorporated.
Pour the batter into the pan. Arrange the orange slices on top of the batter in one layer. Bake for 15 mins.
Reduce the temperature to 350 F or 175 C and bake for 35 – 40 mins until the cake is golden brown and baked through. The sides of the cake should be springing away from the pan and a toothpick inserted in the middle should come out clean.
Cool the cake on a wire rack until warm.
Poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick. Brush the glaze on top with a pastry brush. The cake will absorb some of it.
Allow the cake to cool and then unmold.